AUGUSTA | Azaleas in full bloom, colorful trees, a course of a powerful green, no doubt, the Augusta National offers the eye a resplendent spectacle. Perfection, nothing less. And for the competition, he will offer a test worthy of the respect he should receive.
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“To summarize my thoughts quickly, we are really ready for a great tournament,” said the president of the legendary club, Fred S. Ridley, Wednesday, at his traditional press conference held the day before the first tee shot scheduled for 8 am , this morning.
“This is probably the first edition since 2013 where we offer the route we want. We want it to be firm and quick. It is, he added with class. He has to stay that way all week, because in the past we have started tournaments when he was tender. “
Remember that in the only November edition five months ago, the National was soggy and tender. Golfers have reveled in it by multiplying the blows of brilliance. The 152 below par recorded represent a historic mark.
Scores near normal
This time, it would be utopian to hope for such a performance. Several golfers surveyed since the start of the week claim that a near-par score will be more than respectable.
The reasons ? The firmness of surfaces. Distance control in the fairways will be important, as will pennant approaches on firm, fast greens. We know the reputation of the masterpiece created by Allister Mackenzie and Bobby Jones Jr in 1934, the Greens are among the fastest of professional courses, if not the fastest. The keys will be essential.
“When it is similar playing conditions, precision, course management, angles of attack, targets and all the details become extremely important to play effectively,” said three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson, with his wisdom of a cunning 50-year-old fox.
“When the greens are soft, it’s no longer relevant since you can fly over all the obstacles and traps,” he continued. The angles of attack no longer matter. I managed to crater my ball hit with a 5 iron on the green of the second hole in November. It is not normal. “
Defenseless in 2020
According to “Lefty,” golfers are so good at hitting their ball at exact distances with all of their clubs that with very soft greens, the Augusta National has no defense. Hence the reason for the record set by champion Dustin Johnson. He had cut 20 normal rounds in November.
The National had no weapons in front of an army of warriors armed to the teeth.
“The course had been left without defense, quite simply, he recalled. Now he is firm. It will be a real test, ”said the winner of the 2004, 2006 and 2010 editions.
“The National is firmer. It must be respected. I don’t think it has been for a very long time. “
While the course is said to be at a crossroads in terms of its length and the challenge it presents to the new generation of more powerful golfers, Mickelson is absolutely right.
Since 2000, 13 of the 21 champions have plunged below the -10 mark. Only one donned the green jacket while playing above par: Zach Johnson (+1) in 2007.
According to the defending champion who avoids breaking his head, success at the Augusta National depends on the targets chosen and the areas in which to drop his ball. These are the real difficulties.
“It’s always the same course. Little has changed over time. It all depends on the firmness of the course and the poles used depending on the circumstances. ”
“DJ” was not yet a professional in 2000. Since this edition, the course has been lengthened by nearly 500 yards in order to withstand time and adapt. With all the financial means, the management made 31 changes to the course on 15 of the 18 holes.
Augusta National Golf Club
- 7475 yards
- By 72
- Nine to go | 3765 yards
- Nine back | 3710 yards
1. TEA OLIVE
By 4 | Verges 445 | 2020 5e
Ascending hole angled forward. The approach to the pennant is essential on a wavy green.
2. PINK DOGWOOD
By 5 | Verges 575 | 2020 18e
Possible long bomb from the mound depending on the direction of the wind. Descending aisle. Green tilted forward and right. Oosthuizen made an albatross there in 2012.
3. FLOWERING PEACH
By 4 | Verges 350 | 2020 12e
Reaching the green of the mound is not impossible. The strategy is daring and unsuccessful, especially with a short, imprecise approach. Talk to DeChambeau!
4. FLOWERING CRAB APPLE
By 3 | Verges 240 | 2020 8e
Long irons are required depending on the wind direction. With the flag at the front, watch out for the two pits. Too long a stroke leaves a delicate roll.
By 4 | Verges 495 | 2020 1is
Left angled hole modified 8 times since 1953, including addition of 40 yards in 2019. Accurate tee shot required. The green is tilted forward.
By 3 | Verges 180 | 2020 9e
With the raised tee, you have to cut 8 to 10 yards over the distance. Irons 6 to 9 are used. The flag at the front leaves no margin for error on a green in plateaus.
By 4 | Verges 450 | 2020 6e
Better to strike in the left center of the narrow alley to deliver a second shot with your feet level. The 3 pits protecting the green are to be avoided.
8. YELLOW JASMINE
By 5 | Verges 570 | 2020 15e
A tee shot towards the fairway pit on the right allows a better attack of the green, protected by mounds. Bruce Devlin made an albatross there in 1967.
9. CAROLINA CHERRY
By 4 | Verges 460 | 2020 13e
A long 300 yard tee shot rolls down the slope of the fairway, leaving a second 100 yard stroke on a steep green forward. Delicacy!
By 4 | Verges 495 | 2020 4e
A tee shot as intimidating as it is important. A right-to-left trajectory is preferable. A second missed shot from both sides of the green leaves no chance.
11. WHITE DOGWOOD
By 4 | Verges 505 | 2020 2e
Start of Amen Corner. Recommended accuracy of the mound in a narrow corridor. Depending on the wind, a 4 iron or an 8 iron is used. Green tilted towards the pond to the left.
12. GOLDEN BELL
By 3 | Verges 155 | 2020 10e
Place of collapse for Spieth in 2016 and Molinari in 2019, like many in history. The swirling wind foils even the most crafty past Rae’s Creek.
By 5 | Verges 510 | 2020 16e
Accessible in two shots after a perfect start with a right-to-left trajectory. 1600 azaleas line the walkway to the green protected by Rae’s Creek.
14. CHINESE FIR
By 4 | Verges 440 | 2020 11e
Driveway sloping to the right. Broad, very wavy green appearing narrower. Avoid the 3 rolls when the wrong side of the slopes is a miracle. Primordial touch.
By 5 | Verges 530 | 2020 17e
Green accessible to 2e blow according to the wind. Be careful, very narrow green and tilted towards the water at the front. The approaches are very delicate.
By 3 | Verges 170 | 2020 14e
The site of the spectacular cutaway approach which Tiger Woods succeeded in 2005. 22 holes in one shot in history, 9 of which in the past 10 years.
By 4 | Verges 440 | 2020 7e
Since the disappearance in 2014 of the silver pine Eisenhower, which bordered the left of the fairway, golfers are more aggressive from the tee. Nothing is guaranteed depending on the position of the flag.
By 4 | Verges 465 | 2020 3e
Angled hole to the right with an ascending path leading to a green with plateaus. Six golfers registered the birdie for the victory in history.
Partly cloudy, 28 ° C
Wind south 15 km / h
Cloudy and showers, 25 ° C
Wind south 20 km / h
Sunny and thunderstorms at the end of the day, 27 ° C
Wind south 30 km / h
Cloudy and windy, 25 ° C
Wind from the west 20 km / h